One time a college I was teaching for sent a photographer to my house wanting to take a publicity shot of me in my “creative space.”
The guy showed up to see where I work—I tidied up my little basement desk and even stuck a dried flower in a vase. He settled for a pic of me sitting in a rocking chair in my living room with a stack of galleys on my lap writing fake notes with a pencil.
“If you smile a little less, your eyes won’t be so crinkly,” he said.
I used to work a lot harder to decorate my writing space. During grad school, I hung giant sticky notes over my desk with important-looking chapter outlines for my culminating creative project. I’d use different-colored Sharpies to scrawl cryptic messages to myself, like “Juanita wouldn’t be afraid of the buffalo.”
Those big sticky notes really made me feel like a writer.
When I moved from the SF Bay area to Bellingham, I ended up with a little daylight basement to use as an office. The sticky notes of course came with, along with pics of cute Liv Tyler that I cut out of magazines and laminated, since Livvie is the closest visual approximation of the Juanita character in my mind.
One day a guy came to fix something broken and asked if the pictures of Liv/Juanita were pics of me.
I snorted. “For crying out loud,” I said. Or something like that. Continue reading